July 29, 2020

Duckworth, Fischer Bipartisan Friendly Airports for Mothers Improvement Act Passes Senate


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) passed the Senate today. The Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Improvement Act will ensure that small airports across the country support nursing moms and promote breastfeeding-friendly environments by providing accessible, clean and convenient lactation rooms for travelers. The bill builds on Duckworth’s success in enacting legislation that ensures all large and medium airports provide a clean, private space where moms can breastfeed or pump. The bill now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for approval.

“When traveling, you’d never be expected to eat your meal in a bathroom stall, yet for many new mothers, that’s the reality they face,” Duckworth said. “Two years ago, with the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act, Congress took the first step in making air travel easier for new parents by passing my bipartisan FAM Act. Now, we are building upon that success by ensuring small airports and their passengers aren’t left behind. That’s why I’m proud my colleagues passed the bipartisan FAM Improvement Act today, which recognizes that all airports, large, medium and small, can play a role in improving the health of families by supporting breastfeeding travelers.”

“New mothers are faced with so many challenges, and the last thing they should have to worry about when traveling is where they will be able to breastfeed their child,” Fischer said. “I am glad that the Senate passed the bipartisan FAM Improvement Act to provide new mothers at small hub airports with a private lactation room.”

In 2018, a bipartisan majority of Congress passed the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act, which was signed into law and makes sure all medium and large airports in the nation provide private spaces in each terminal for mothers to express breastmilk and allows airports to use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding to make these enhancements. Duckworth first introduced the FAM Act in May of 2015 as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Last year, another bipartisan breastfeeding bill that was championed by Senator Duckworth, the Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act, was signed into law and ensures all federal buildings open to the public provide lactation spaces for visitors.

Senator Duckworth has been a strong advocate for women and families during both her service in the House and Senate. Earlier this year she introduced the Newborn CARES Act to ensure more new parents quickly receive the additional $500 per child in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act stimulus payments without having to wait until 2021. Senator Duckworth has also introduced legislation to make workplaces more family friendly, improve childcare services and make it easier for low-income and middle-class families to obtain diapers for their children. 

The FAM Improvement Act has been endorsed by over 85 organizations, including the U.S. Breastfeeding Coalition, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, Association of Women's Health, and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, La Leche League USA, MomRising and the National WIC Association.